Learning to be Human
“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding because to understand is to be free.”
– Baruch Spinoza
Love, hope, fear, faith – these make humanity; these are its sign, note and character of being human.
The first meaning of humanity describes a particular kind of animal that biologists encouragingly call homo sapiens – or wise human – and which seems distinct from all other animals because of its powers of language, reasoning, imagination and technology. This biological and evolutionary use of the term has the same meaning as “humankind” and marks us out as a particular life form that is different to other kinds of animal and vegetative life.
The power of the human species is considerable over the non-human world. This is mainly because our intelligence has consistently invented and deployed tools and technology which means we have come to dominate the earth, and our imagination has shaped religious and political meanings around which we form interests and social movements.
When we talk about humanity, there can be various perspectives to look at it. The most straightforward way to understand humanity is this simple definition – everything that makes you human can be considered a part of humanity. This can be love, hope, faith, fear, and much more. All these attributes are a part of humanity because you experience them regularly while living your life.
Therefore, it is essential to read short essays on humanity from time to time so that you can learn from the experience of others and also motivate yourself.
In this current chaotic world, all we need is to learn how to be human and how to stay being human. The most important religion is humanity – just being a good human being defines you everywhere. All that you need to work upon is being helpful to the needy at all times and every place. Being loving and caring towards all living beings even plants and animals, and above all to understand another person’s problem and realise the situations they are in and be considerate.
Over the last 200 years, a third sense of humanity has increasingly referred to a single global identity across all human societies. This is not a simple biological identity but the idea that as a conflicted species we can and must build a single global political identity in which every human has a stake. This global identity is a meta identity which transcends smaller identities shaped by culture, nation, class, political opinion and religion.
The purpose of this single political humanity is to build a human “We” so as to share a common species consciousness as one group sharing a single planetary “home” and work together on common problems and common opportunities that face the whole of humanity.
This political sense of being a single global group is experiencing push-back today as the broad-based politics of ethnic and economic nationalism expresses scepticism about globalism of all kinds. This political turn sees many people asking national politicians to think “more about us here” and “less about them over there”. But it is argued that it is important to imagine and build a global sense of humanity because our common human problems are intense and interdependent, and can only be solved internationally not just nationally.
“To prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found (and) to protect life and health and ensure respect for the human being.”
Humanity means caring for and helping others whenever and wherever possible. Humanity means helping others at times when they need, humanity means forgetting our selfish interests at times when others need our help. Humanity means extending unconditional& selfless love to each and every living being on this Earth.
If eating and having fun is only what we are born to do, then we should keep one thing in mind that even animals can also do this.One does not need a hefty bank account to contribute towards humanitarian activities. Paying our domestic help fairly is also humanity. Lifting the heavy bag for an old woman is humanity, helping a disabled person to cross the road is humanity, helping your mom in chores is humanity; in fact, helping anyone who is in need is humanity.
As soon as we understand the importance of humanity in day to day life, the purpose for which we are on the Earth is automatically fulfilled.
“I think there is a tendency for people to get rigid and caught up in their beliefs of what is right and wrong, and they lose sight of humanity. Being human has to come first before right or wrong.”